Spartans win playoff opener, 1-0 over Hudson
The right arm of freshman pitcher Brandie Goldberg and the bat of senior Rachal Fregin helped the Superior High School softball team defeat the Hudson Raiders 1-0 in a WIAA Division 1 regional game Tuesday evening at the Superior Middle School.
Goldberg tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and Fregin provided the only run the Spartans needed with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning.
“It was exactly what we expected,” SHS coach Amy Zembo said. “We knew their pitcher really threw hard and we told the kids it would probably be a one-run game. We also said it was also important that when you get runners in scoring position we needed to come up with that big hit and Rachal came through.”
Superior (18-7) will now play the winner of the Eau Claire North-Eau Claire Memorial game on Thursday. The ECN-ECM game was rained out Tuesday and will be played at 4 p.m. today.
Junior catcher Gabby Gidley led off the bottom of the fifth winning with a walk. After a strike out, courtesy runner Allie Thul moved to second base on Harmony Clarke’s sac bunt then scored on Fregin’s single to left field.
“That was one of my biggest hits, for sure,” Fregin said. “It was a change-up, which I wasn’t really expecting. I was way out on my front foot, but waited for it, pulled it and was lucky it got into the outfield. Allie Thul then worked it around the bases, it was exciting.”
Superior’s defense then helped out as second baseman Tailor Schuster made a nice play on a sharply hit grounder and third baseman Ari Jago caught a foul ball along the fence near the Spartans’ dugout to end the sixth inning.
Then in the seventh, shortstop Jessica Lindstrom made a long running catch behind third base and right fielder Taylor Nelson made a catch on a sinking line drive just inside fair territory.
“Brandie got some great help behind her late in the game,” Zembo said. “We put a solid game together, we don’t expect to have 10-12 hits in game like that, but when the defense needed to make a play they made them. Then we got the key hit to score the one run.”
Fittingly, Goldberg finished the game with a strikeout.
Goldberg retired Hudson in order in five innings. She also only faced four batters twice, when Kendra Little singled in the second and fourth innings.
“Her ball was moving, she was hitting the corner all game,” Zembo said. “The ump told me after the game ‘she was hitting the corner well and I was calling like I should.’ We were definitely looking at the outside corner.”
Superior finished with four hits. Besides Fregin’s game-winner, Nelson singled in the second inning and Jago and Lindstrom singled in the sixth.
Hudson sophomore Jordan Little was also impressive on the mound with nine strikeouts and one walk.